Almanac Cricket – Blowers Out, Citrus Sweet

Not all the colour of the upcoming Test series has gone out the press box window.


With Henry “my dear old thing” Blofeld (78) gone it is now left to The Almanac’s very own Citrus (thanks JTH) Bob Utber (78) to uphold the dress tradition. The two ancients crossed swords at the last series in England with both resplendent in their colour.


The only other colour would have been supplied by England’s Ben Stokes but it looks very doubtful that he will even set foot in Australia this summer.


Age has caught up with Blowers but Citrus believes that there is only one person older covering the 17-18 series and that is W.M.Lawry (80) out ageing him. Lawry will only been seen and heard at the Melbourne Test. Next in line would be Ian Chappell (74).


Citrus thinks he would be the only correspondent who would have seen Bradman play in Australia. 1947-48 versus India.


Whilst not the only Almanac writer at this year’s series, Citrus will be the only writer who will have a daily summary of play within 10 minutes of the end of play and in particular for the day-nighter as the dailies would have well and truly gone to bed.


The septuagenarian thinks the following teams will play in the first test at the Gabba.



Just in case you are not sure of the English names there is not the hype in this series so far but aficionados’ like Citrus hope this will change. Richmond is still covering the papers and given that hype it would not surprise to see some of them in either team.


About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.


  1. Peter Warrington says

    surely Maxwell has to get at least one home test in his career? or will he be the new GD Watson, condemned to tour only?

  2. Citrus Bob says

    PW – what has he done to deserve a berth? I would have Head and Stoinis well in front of him. I do think however that the selectors would love to see Cartwright make some runs in the lead up games.
    By the way Cook should be in the English team.

  3. Dave Brown says

    Looking forward to the Ashes very much, Bob. Not having the dreaded pay TV I must confess to not knowing much about some of these Englishmen. Adds a nice bit of mystery (have arranged access to a relative’s associate SACA membership so looking forward to as many days of the Adelaide test as there are). Would like to see Carey notch a couple of big scores before he gets a go, but it would be hard to bat worse than Wade at the moment.

  4. The great thing about three rounds of lead-up Shield games is that there are no excuses (weather permitting).
    Make runs and state your case.

    Cranky, Maxwell’s Shield record is not too shabby – wouldn’t discount him making a big score in one of the games.

  5. Re Carey: needs a first-class ton at the very least before he enters the discussion. Surely?

  6. Citrus Bob says

    Smokie – Carey is a first-class keeper and not a back-stop. ‘The Big Show”? What has he really done over the journey?

    DB – the beauty of not knowing the English players makes it more enticing to watch. Come to think of it how many out there would recognise – Renshaw, Handscomb, Cartwright and Carey in the street?
    Really looking forward to the Adelaide test and the crowd

  7. Like your team Citrus. I’m ambivalent about Maxwell. At the moment history would judge him as an excellent exponent of the reverse sweep.

  8. bernard whimpress says

    Don’t tell me there’s not a spot for Shaun Marsh (only joking) and I assume Stoinis must hail from Mildura – from memory his fc average last year was about 15. Haven’t been checking his current fitness because otherwise I’d include Agar as the all-rounder – he could be another Gilchrist! Of England’s team, I follow county cricket reasonably closely on the internet but Overton escapes me entirely. I’ve always liked Finn when he’s on song.

  9. bernard whimpress says

    As a follow-up CB I note that I owe Stoinis an apology regarding his batting average. In 7 Sheffield Shield games for Victoria last summer he made the grand total of 197 runs at 17.91 and took 8 wickets at 43.88. Not what I’d call a great set of numbers but then we know how much the Shield is worth.

  10. BW – I note your scholarly intent on improving the worthiness of Stoinis. Honestly though who is out there who could be included? Unless of course some unknown NSW player does well in the nearly extinct Sheffield Shield.
    You are right about the Shield.”the best grounding for any Test cricketer” to quote all and sundry. Know doubt are star fast bowlers will be put in cotton wool if the Australian selectors feel that the pitches are not to their liking.
    Keep your eye on the boy from South Africa he could make it before the series is over and the easy rider Will Sutherland.

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